Texas Strike Force making progress with COVID-19 testing at Tyson plant

Texas Strike Force making progress with COVID-19 testing at Tyson plant

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As of this morning, more than 2,140 employees were tested for COVID-19 at the Tyson plant in Amarillo.

The Texas Strike Force will continue testing through Monday. The results are said to take between two to four days, and will be reported in the county where the employee lives.

“They are trying as hard as they can to speed up our turn around time. They made available an airplane service to get those samples flown out so we can get results as soon as possible,” said Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson.

Those being tested at Tyson are not being asked to quarantine until they receive results, unless they are sick, so they aren’t forced to shut down the plant.

“We are currently just evaluating other areas of need while they are here. Do we have other areas? That’s a fluid situation, and we are analyzing that right now, so it’s possible they could extend their stay,” said Mayor Nelson.

For the first time, the City addressed how the Clements Unit cases are contributing to the total for Amarillo.

“At last weeks count it was around 8 percent was overall criminal justice numbers,” said Casie Stoughton, director of the Amarillo Public Health Department.

Ventilators were one item the City asked for in a letter to the Governor to be made available if needed in the future.

“Ventilator use in both hospitals has been around 50 percent or less. There is not a need, and that’s been true to say over the last several weeks. There has not been a need for ventilators outside the community,” said Amarillo Health Authority’s Dr. Scott Milton.

“If we were to spike up for some reason and need them, I’m confident that the state would send them. The Governor told me that personally,” said Mayor Nelson.

The Fire Marshal and environmental health department have been responding to reports of businesses not complying with the Governors orders.

“Every time we have interacted with a business on that, they have been very proactive or very receptive and modified operations to be compliant with the Governors orders. We are responding to all complaints. We are also proactively going out and visiting with businesses, and we will be meeting with businesses if they’d like to discuss how they can best meet the requirements of the Governors orders,” said Amarillo’s City Manager Jared Miller.

The Amarillo Health Department will no longer provide a report card on Sundays. Drive through testing is set to continue through next week, but they will continue to only test individuals showing symptoms.

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